On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Bellator MMA fighter Joe Warren.
One of the few people to have held world titles in two combat sports, Joe Warren was a world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling in 2006 and the Bellator featherweight champion from 2010 to 2012. He currently holds the Bellator interim bantamweight title.
His next fight will be Friday, October 10, against Eduardo Dantas, who holds the regular Bellator bantamweight title, to unify this title. It will take place as the main event of Bellator 128 at the Global Event Center at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. It will be televised live in the U.S. on Spike TV.
We spoke with Joe Warren by phone Sunday.
This highly-anticipated fight was originally scheduled for May of this year, but had to be postponed due to an injury to Dantas.
As for what to expect when these two finally meet this Friday, Joe Warren said, "You can expect a lot of fireworks from us again. We're both great fighters and we both have a violent -- well, I do, I have just a crazy, violent drive right now to get this other belt. I love having these high pressure fights. This is very normal for me. And it's just going to be a real exciting fight. I'm excited for everybody to see it. I think everybody wants to see it. And I believe both of us want to get this fight over with."
We discussed his technical advances as a mixed martial arts fighter, including his "anti-jiu-jitsu" and improvements in both striking and submissions after coming into MMA from wrestling. But it is in wrestling, he said, that there is the one goal left that he has yet to achieve: to win the Olympics. We thus discussed a possible return to wrestling, as well as him competing in other styles such as one of the hybrid styles used in the various real pro wrestling groups, or catch wrestling, where you can only win by pin or submission.
In addition, we discussed some of the challenges in making wrestling popular as a mainstream sport, his wrestling last year at the Grapple at the Garden event in Madison Square Garden, why at almost age 38 "I haven't lost anything", his heart rate-based training which "is the reason I'm where I'm at", why he is now "the best fighter I've been in the cage", and much more.
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